"Terrifying monsters from a lost age!", promises the movie's ads from its original release in 1959. One can only assume they refer to John Agar, B-movie veteran and star of this immensely silly but moderately entertaining sci-fi/horror flick of yesteryear.

Agar, as archaeologist Dr. Roger Bentley and Hugh Beaumont (that's right, Ward from Leave It To Beaver) as Dr. Jud Bellamin drag Etienne LaFarge into what is apparently one of the world's many randomly positioned hidden underground civilizations, where they come upon a race of albinos who have enslaved horrible mole people. Apparently these mole people are only tangentially related to the story and, to the best of my understanding, reside in shallow pits of gravel in otherwise sturdy terrain and feed upon non-albino passers-by. Just like real albinos, the people of this race of english-speaking subterranean Brits are horribly afraid of any sort of light, and burn instantly to their off-screen deaths whenever they come into contact with natural sunlight. They are ruled by a king sporting a giant hood ornament for a hat, who is advised, of course, by Alfred the Butler (Alan Napier).

The esteemed Doctor Roger Bentley apparently then falls in love with one of the pale people, and after a bit of philosophical masturbation on the part of Bentley they decide to incite a mole-person riot, guided of course by rational thinking and the complex and deeply philosophical notion that slavery is bad. The resulting chaos destroys the ancient underground civilization, and somewhere along the line Bentley's love interest, Adad, gets squished by a falling pillar. The end.

I have also come across the information that "LaFarge" would translate into french as "the load". This would explain everyone on MST3k referring to LaFarge mockingly as a deadweight through the course of the flick (that is, up until he becomes a literal deadweight).

Also not to be confused with the molé people.

The Mole People is a 1993 book by Jennifer Toth telling the story of "the mole people", homeless people living in tunnels underneath Manhattan. This books is mostly anecdotal in character, and tends to focus on a few personalities, rather than try to give solid sociological data on the underground population, which is probably just as well, since such data probably doesn't exist.

Ms. Toth, to her credit, is quite skeptical about the rumors she hears about the underground, but even discounting many of the stories, she has had eye witness proof that there are indeed many people living in various tunnels underground, a number she estimates as perhaps as many as 5,000. These people live in many different circumstances, from the alcoholic who passes out for the night in a close to the surface subway tunnel to highly organized communities of up to 200 members which prohibit drug use and have elected officials, that live a hundred or more feet underground.

If I gained anything from this book, other than a sick voyuristic peek into a lifestyle that is hard to imagine, it is the many different ways people can respond to the strangest circumstances. Many of the people living in the tunnels are drug addicts, and many of them have problems with mental illness. However, despite this, and despite the violence of their lives, these people try to organize into community to make the best out of what they have and to preserve what is important to them. Some of these efforts come to nothing, while some seem to be quite succesful.

While this book does provide an interesting introduction to a subject that does not have a lot of material written on it, it does not provide a lot of insight into the causes of homelessness, and why people migrate underground, and whether that migration is different than being homeless above ground. Since Ms. Toth's means of exposition is page or two page long descriptions of different tunnel dwellers life stories, a really complete understanding of what it means to live so cut off from "normal life" really can't be reached.

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